Expert Witness Reports – An aid to legal dispute resolution

What is an Expert Witness Report

What is an Expert Witness Report?

An Expert Witness Report is a report produced by an ‘Expert’ providing their professional, unbiased, and uninfluenced opinion in relation to a dispute and matter surrounding the Expert’s area of expertise.  An Expert Witness Report is legally relied upon and may be used to assist in reaching a conclusion or settlement to a legal dispute and civil proceedings. The Expert’s duty to the court overrides any instructions received from a client or their representative and it is imperative that the Expert is not influenced by any parties involved in the case to ensure they always remain impartial and independent. It is also important that the Expert Witness ensures that there is no conflict of interest before they commence works.


Expert Witness instructions may be on a single or joint basis whereby the Expert is engaged on behalf of either a Claimant or a Defendant (a single party) or on a joint basis where the Expert is instructed on behalf of both the Claimant and Defendant jointly (although as mentioned, the Expert’s overriding duty is the court). In some instances, where one party directs an Expert Witness Report, the opposing party may then engage their own Expert Witness report by a different Expert Witness if they do not agree with the findings of the opposing party’s report, although again the court may need to agree that this is an appropriate course of action.


Each Expert case and report is individual relating to the matter at hand. For example, an Expert Witness is obligated to accept instructions to act as an Expert Witness only where they feel they have the knowledge, experience, and expertise in relation to the subject matter and dispute at hand. For example, a Building Surveyor may be engaged to act as an Expert Witness in relation to a legal dispute over construction works or a property-related matter or a Valuation Surveyor may be engaged to act as an Expert Witness to provide their opinion of the value of a property where this cannot be agreed upon. Expert Witness Reports carried out by Building Surveyors and Valuers can be provided for a wide range of legal matters such as matrimonial proceedings (divorce etc.), property and construction disputes, boundary disputes amongst many other circumstances and as mentioned, is usually directed by the court and legal representatives.


The Expert Witness Report will be relied upon in court and in some cases, the Expert Witness may be called to give evidence during court/legal proceedings. In addition, where there is more than one Expert Witness involved, the engaged Experts may be directed to have a meeting with a view to trying to agree mutual statements.